Thursday, August 16, 2018

BA Silver Status

Yeah!! I earned Silver status with British Airways.  The British Airways frequent flyer programme is called Executive Club and there are four tiers - Blue, Bronze, Silver, and Gold.  Each level gives you additional perks when flying on BA.

Every time you fly on BA, or one of their Oneworld partners, you earn tier points and Avios.  Tier points are earned from flying.  The tier points awarded are dependent on the cost and class of the ticket purchased.  Flying in business class over economy gets you more points.  The only way to earn tier points is by flying.  You can't purchase your way to a particular status level.

Avios are points that you earn from flying, or from making purchases with airline partners.  You can redeem Avios points for free flights, hotel stays, rental cars, etc.

Each of the Oneworld Alliance airlines have their own frequent flyer programmes.  The top three BA Executive Club levels, Bronze, Silver, and Gold, are equivalent to Oneworld's Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald levels.

Some of the benefits I now get with Silver/Saphire status include:

  • Access to priority Business Class check-in at the airport, even when I fly economy 
  • Priority boarding 
  • Priority standby when on a waitlist
  • Priority baggage handling
  • Extra baggage allowance.  On BA flights I get to check two bags for free instead of just one.  And my checked bags gets to be 32 kg instead of the normal 23 kg.
  • Earn an extra 50% bonus Avios points when flying on BA.
  • Free seat selection at purchase.  No more having to wait until checking in to get a free seat; or having to pay for an emergency seat exit for the extra leg room.
  • Free use of the the airport Business Class lounges, even when flying economy.  This one is huge - a quiet place to rest, free Wi-Fi, free snacks, free drinks; and I can even bring a guest. 
It's not listed as a benefit but I've noticed that when flying through London Heathrow, my BA ticket comes with Fast-Track access through airport security.  Love that!

Some of these benefits may not sound like much but for frequent travellers they can make all the difference at the airport.  Fortunately, I actually received Silver status before my trip to India.  I just hadn't received my card.  The Qatar Airways checkin line at Bangalore airport had at least 25 people in queue.  It was so nice to be able to walk right up to the priority checkin and be done in less than five minutes.  And having lounge access privileges at Doha airport gave me the opportunity to take a nap in the business class sleep rooms and I never had to pay exorbitant airport prices for food or drinks.  I so plan on taking advantage of these benefits in November when we fly to Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

You have to keep flying in order to maintain your status.  It takes 600 tier points to maintain Silver.  If I don't earn at least 600 points this year then next year I drop down to Bronze status.  Bronze/Ruby is nice but Silver is way, way better.  Unfortunately, I'll probably never earn Gold/Emerald. which requires 1500 points.  I'd have to fly more than twice what I do now so that's not happening anytime soon.  

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